This blog has been updated from a previous blog to be even more awesome.
As much as pet owners want to get pet health information from their veterinarians, the urge to Google information can be irresistible. After all, the internet is accessible and open all the time.
The problem for veterinarians is that, while it’s possible for pet owners to find good pet health information online with “Dr. Google,” pet owners can easily find ineffective or even incorrect information. And this not only affects a pet owner’s overall understanding of pet health care. It can delay or dissuade pet owners from making an appointment with your clinic.
The good news is that you can use your clients’ inclination to consult the internet to your advantage and turn a major vet peeve into a useful tool for client education.
So how do you get client education back into the hands of your practice?
Talk About It With Clients
You know your clients look up pet health information, and they know it too. So, there’s no reason to sweep the fact under the rug. By opening up a conversation about the internet in a controlled manner with clients, you help establish your practice as the place where clients can come to discuss what they find. Acknowledge that they find and use it as a jumping-off point to share more information.
For example, when a client asks a question or shares an informational tidbit they found online, don’t immediately discredit it. Your clients will likely feel embarrassed and refrain from sharing information in the future. Instead, find similarities between the information they found and what you do at your practice. Point them out, then branch out to share what your practice does differently and why.
When you show clients that you’re an open, non-judgmental resource to help them in their quest for pet health information, you encourage clients to make your practice the first place they’ll call with future questions.
Help Clients in Their Quest
Internet research and veterinary information don’t need to be mutually exclusive. You know that your clients are going to look things up but encouraging clients to flat-out not use the internet provides little value in that it doesn’t provide clients with an alternative. And that only creates a vacuum that encourages clients to return to the internet.
Instead, provide clients with the resources they need to find good information, be it your practice blog, a trusted veterinary resource, or even your own library of pet health articles built right into your website. This way, you provide a directional framework for clients—a starting point by which to guide them and keep them on the right informational path.
If you have particularly savvy clients, you could also try giving them a list of keywords and/or phrases that can help them assess the quality of other online sources.
Relate Client Education to Your Practice
It’s one thing to give your clients the resources they need to do their homework. But if it’s your goal to establish your practice as the go-to resource for pet health information, it’s a good idea to make sure that what information you’re giving clients steers them back to your practice.
There are a few ways to do this. You can build a Links page into your practice website that helps direct pet owners to your preferred sources of pet health information. You can also make the most of your veterinary blog by curating a collection of information covering a wide range of pet health topics.
A simpler option is to have a library of pet health articles built right into your website with LifeLearn ClientEd so pet owners can access client education information when they need it.
Searchable by category and available in hard copy and digital form, ClientEd’s library has more than 2,000 illustrated pet health handouts written and reviewed by animal health experts, designed specifically for effective client education. And ClientEd is easily integrated within your website, ensuring your practice is the credible go-to resource for pet owners to make better health care choices.
For more about ClientEd and its complete range of features (including the ability to create and manage your own content, send content to clients, and more), visit the ClientEd info page.